Husbands go on strike: Tibet, 1928

Robert St. Estephe–Gonzo Historian–is dedicated to uncovering the forgotten past of marginalizing men. “Gonzo journalism” is characterized as tending “to favor style over fact to achieve accuracy.” Yet history – especially “social history” – is written by ideologues who distort and bury facts in order to achieve an agenda. “Gonzo” writing is seen as unorthodox and surprising. Yet, in the 21st century subjectivity, distortion and outright lying in non-fiction writing is the norm. Fraud is the new orthodoxy. Consequently, integrity is the new “transgressive.”

Welcome to the disruptive world of facts, the world of Gonzo History.

“Men on Strike” is the title of the 2013 book by Dr. Helen Smith (“Dr. Helen”) that explains why men are, in ever-increasing numbers, refusing to submit to the out-of-control “gender” system that continues to strip the male of fundamental rights and which reduces so many men to a lifetime of slavery.

Dr. Helen uses the phase “men on strike” as a metaphor for what is going on now, yet there have been instances in history where men have literally gone on strike, and called it a “strike,” and did it for the very same reasons that motivate today’s strikers. Here is one such instance, which took place in 1928 in Tibet.

It is recommended that another post be read in conjunction with this one. “‘A Dictatorship of the Eternal Woman Has Been Declared’: The Soviet Alimony Racket – 1927,” describes a situation, similar in some respects, as regards to de facto system of polyandry, but arrived to on a different path, namely Communism.

Here are two articles on the Tibetan Men’s Rights revolt of 1928:



FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): That persistent underground rumbling you’ve been hearing lately is undoubtedly caused by the turning of millions of worms down on the underside of the world, the worms in this case being the patient long-suffering husbands of the haughty ladies of Tibet.

According to news that has seeped out through the tall ring of Tibetan mountains, the gentlemen of the yak country have organized a men’s rights campaign that recently culminated in a parade of striking husbands. Accompanied by charm boxes, prayer wheels and fluttering pennants that read “Down With Tyrannical Women!” numbers of married men paraded the streets of Lhasa, demanding more respect for their sex and a kind word now and then from the head of the house.

At the risk of becoming what Tibet considers unmasculine, some of the brave ones have even gone so far as to draw up a set of demands. They ask, among other things, for financial independence, a single standard of morality, only one husband to a wife, the right of widowers to remarry and equal privileges of divorce.


“Too long have we suffered in silence, my fellow Tibetans!” cries out, in effect this bold manifestant “We, able-bodied men seven feet tall, natural protectors of the so-called gentler sex, are made their slaves. We have to earn our own keep as well as supply our wives with luxuries, and they don’t even provide enough children to go around. It has got so than an ambitious woman expects a flock of husbands, just like so many sheep or yaks. Must such things go on forever? Or shall we not rather assert our manhood, even at the risk of appearing unmanlike, and protest against this irksome feminine control?”

Apparently being seven feet tall is not much of a help to the harried husbands of Tibet. For countless centuries the little women of Lhasa and the way stations have kept the masculine world firmly fixed under their yellow thumbs. The trouble is that husbands so often come in wholesale lots, few indeed being the women who haven’t more than one husband. Four is said to be a highly popular number, which is fortunate if the wife happens to be fond of the Tibetan equivalent of “Sweet Adeline,” sung as a quartet.

The institution of plural husbands and the feminism seem to be due in a considerable manner to a considerable shortage of women. Percival Landon, who accompanied Younghusband’s expedition, reports that practically all commerce of the country is in the hands of the women, the men serving chiefly as errand runners, bundle carriers and bits of local color. No man is allowed to sell any of the family possessions without his wife’s permission, though, of course, no such restrictions apply to her.


Nor do the women confine their ruling to the little troop of Boy Scouts given to them by holy matrimony. Nu Kuo, a state of eastern Tibet, has always had a woman ruler, and in many of the other provinces the wife of the prince in charge is the real mainspring of the works.

One of the most powerful of the Tibetan divinities is a dark blue with three eyes who rides a mule, has live snakes for veins and drinks her cocktails out of a skull. Some 30 years ago the functionaries of Tibet announced that the current incarnation of the dreadful lady was none other than Queen Victoria. After her death they prophesied that the revered ruler would have the happiness of being reborn a Tibetan. If so, the change in home life must be rather starling to the dear English queen.

Of course, no high-spirited Tibetan girl would marry a whole group if she disapproved of any of the members. If one of the younger brothers happens to lack charm, he is black balled out of the wedding party. This, in a young man, is as severe a calamity as the blizzard of 1888, and his usual reaction is to save himself from social ostracism by becoming a monk.


There is a chance, in southern Tibet, at least, that he can make a career of a sort by signing on as a magpa. In this section of the country ladies bored with their current group of husbands sometimes add to the ménage an unhappy younger brother who has been vetoed by someone else.

The magpa’s importance is close to the absolute zero of physics. He can leave his wife only in case she possibly mistreats him, but she, on the other hand, can give him the cutting mountain air whenever such a procedure strikes her fancy.

Polyandry is not universal in Tibet. Up near the high brim of China it is comparatively rare, and even in the midst of the many husband belt there are occasional only sons whose interest in their wives is of the shareholders type.

Yet the life of these monopolists is hardly cheery enough to justify green looks of envy among the married men of America. It is the duty of the Tibetan husband, whether singular or plural, to make all the clothes for the family, including the wife. Any man who has ever imagined being a Louise-boulanger [a famous fashion designer] in his own house can picture the anguish of the fitting hour and the horrid strain of the day when the little woman goes out to compare her costume with those made by the husbands across the valley.

But, as the entomologists say, it’s a long worm that has no turning. Under the leadership of one Amouki, who seems to be the Susan B. Anthony of the movement, the husbands of Tibet have risen to demand an improvement in their status.

[“Husbands of Thibet Demand Equal Rights – In Mysterious Land Where Every Wife Has a Harem, Downtrodden Male Sex Organizes an Anti-feminine Movement,” The Sunday Magazine of the Milwaukee Journal (Wi.), May 20, 1928, p. 5]



FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2):

“Fathers and brothers:

“For many years we have been subjected to feminine domination. They look upon us as cattle and horses. Their impositions are so many that it is impossible to mention them all, but here are some:

“1. A wife is provided with many husbands. If they do not please her she abandons them. Husbands dare not resist.


“2. under feminine control we work day and night in a different section of the country. We gain money by the sweat of our brow, of which we may keep nothing, being compelled to turn over all to the woman who rules us.

If we have not lucrative employment we are evicted and abandoned. What slaves we are!

“3. women are free to remarry when any of their husbands die, but we are obliged to remain widowers if our wife dies. Even if his fiancée dies before marriage


No, this is not taken from some crazy quilt, futuristic farce, nor does it describe a man-hating woman’s dream of heaven. It is surely part of the resolutions offered secretly by striking husbands of Tibet, to be exact, of the province of Ezetchouan.

This is only one of the many communities in Asia where polyandry is the existing system, where every woman has at least three husbands plus one bronze image of a Buddhist priest.

All husbands except of the favorite work for the wife, who is absolute despot over the seven-foot males. They are her playthings. If she likes them, she keeps them; if not she casts them aside. And a husband so discarded is an outcast from society.


Well, the downtrodden husbands of that one particular province decided to rebel, formed a union and marched five hundred strong on the holy city of Lhasa, appealing for “Men’s Rights.” Banners calling for “Financial Independence for Men” and demanding that “One Husband Should Suffice For Any One Woman” were in evidence.

Doesn’t it remind you of the not-so remote effects of our own downtrodden women? Yet today it is said that the only country in the world where women enjoy greater privileges than in America is in polygamous Tibet!

[Jean Newton, “What Slaves We Are, Cry Husbands – Men Of Ezetchouan, Tibet, Where Polyandry Exists, Rebel and Adopt Resolutions. – Situation Is Like Reversal Of Recent Conditions In America, Suggests Writer.” The Sunday Sun (Baltimore, Md.), May 13, 1928, Sec. 2, p. 13]


If you are interested in some background information on Tibetan polyandry, see the longer version of this post on The Unknown History of MISANDRY.


QUESTION: Is there a single person anywhere alive in the world who has learned about this event — which from any perspective, must be seen as significant to our understanding of the history of “gender” relations — in school or the media?

If so, please let us know.


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